What Are Body Type And How Do They Differ From Each Other?
There are three general body types:
- The Ectomorph tends to be tall and slim/thin.
- The Mesomorph has what would be described as an average build and height.
- The Endomorph has a natural tendency to be stocky and heavy-set.
All three body types are very distinct from each other from an athletic standpoint. Ectomorphs are generally better suited for speed and stamina and typically have longer limbs (think basketball players). These individuals don’t gain weight easily so long as they get regular physical exercise.
The Mesomorphs, on the other hand, are more likely to develop advanced musculature than the other two body types. This body type builds muscle faster and has stronger muscles as well, so this type is prevalent in many different sports such as martial arts, swimming and bodybuilding.
Finally, Endomorphs generally have more body fat compared to the other body types. This makes them more suitable to sports and activities that require strength, endurance and power. You’ll see this body type a lot in football, wrestling and again in bodybuilding.
You’ve probably seen a strongman competition at some point. These guys fall into the Endomorph category.
While endomorphs do put on fat more quickly, don’t make the mistake of thinking that they have less endurance or strength than the other body types. These individuals can be powerhouses.
The Best Bodybuilding Practices For Each Body Type
Regardless of your body type, you can become a successful bodybuilder simply because hard work and determination will always overcome any limitations imposed by your genetic make-up (genes).
The way to proceed is to follow the best practices for your particular body type so that you can maximize the results from all your hard work. All it may require is a few tweaks to your workout routine to improve the overall results you get from your exercises.
So, with that in mind, here’s some advice for each body type, especially if you don’t know which one you are…
If you’re tall, lean and strong then you’re probably an ectomorph:
- In order to preserve muscle mass, Ectomorphs do better when they keep their weightlifting sessions short. Long workouts can lead to catabolism in the muscle tissue which then impedes muscle growth.
- Do between 6 and 8 sets of an exercise to maximize muscle gain.
- Don’t skimp on cardio exercises. While you might be thin and lean, you still need to burn fat and keep your heart rate up. Doing cardio is also a great way to warm up the body for more intense exercise and it stretches the major muscle groups in your body in preparation. Don’t go overboard on cardio though; keep your sessions to 3 or less per week and don’t do more than 20 minutes of cardio each time.
- Being naturally lean doesn’t give you a pass to eat junk food and expect that it won’t do you any harm. There’s lots of fat in junk food and you’ll still have to work harder to burn off any you do consume. Remember that you still need to eat plenty of protein to feed your muscle growth and you also need essential nutrients from natural food like fruit, vegetables and whole foods.
- The majority of your exercises should be compound movements, too. Compound movements involve at least two groups of muscles and joints (e.g. squats with shoulder press).
If you’re roundish but powerful with weights, you’re most likely an endomorph:
- The Endomorph has an obvious disadvantage – they have a tendency to build fat around their midsections. So they need to be more careful about what they eat. A balance must be struck between eating sufficient protein and carbohydrates to build muscle so that there’s enough glycogen for you to do your workouts. Eating a good amount of healthy vegetable fats is also important as it keeps hunger pangs at bay and reduces the temptation to eat sugary snacks.
- Endomorphs are more likely to gain mass quickly. They too should perform compound exercises but they can also focus on doing isolation exercises to improve and strengthen specific muscles such as deltoids, quads, triceps, etc.
- For Endomorphs, cardio exercises are also highly recommended but sessions should last no longer than 30 minutes. This helps burn off fat and ensures optimum muscle growth. Again, you should do no more than 3 cardio sessions every 7 days.
- With the tendency that Endomophs have for putting on weight, they should think about doing additional exercise outside of the gym. Keep active with sports activities like tennis, badminton and basketball. If you prefer other activity sports like mountain climbing, then go for it! As long as you stay active and keep moving, your metabolism will improve and it will be far easier to keep your weight under control.
If you’re naturally muscular and resilient in the gym, you’re a lucky guy – you’re most likely a mesomorph!
- In bodybuilding, consistency is the key to keeping a physique. If you’re a Mesomorph, you’ll build muscle fast but that can lead to complacency. You need to keep pushing yourself and your limits in the gym!
- Junk food is bad for everybody and, while you won’t add fat around your midsection as quickly as an Endomorph, you will still add it by eating fatty foods. You’ll transform into an Endomorph. To combat such a transition, you can always change your diet to that of an Ectomorph so your body starts reverting to its former Mesomorph state. Then change your diet again so you maintain your Mesomorph status.
- Nutrition is of key importance to any bodybuilder or anyone looking at shedding the pounds for a leaner, more toned body. You have to give your body the right nutrients to work with. Your muscles also need them to grow and put on mass. Eating a natural, healthy diet of protein, carbohydrates and fat will help you achieve your goals more quickly.
As you’ve probably noticed, regardless of what body type you currently are, diet is the central factor in how your body will respond to the exercise and stress you put it through during your workouts.
Ideally, changing diet should be a lifestyle choice and change rather than a short-term solution to achieving your goal. Fall back into old eating habits and the pounds will start piling on again. It’s a mistake far too many people make.